Nextel Posts Fourth-Quarter Profit
RESTON, Va. (AP) _ Nextel Communications Inc. Thursday said it swung to a fourth-quarter profit, reflecting an investment gain and an increase in wireless subscribers.
The cell-phone company posted net income of $1.47 billion, or $1.38 a share, compared with a net loss of $1.73 billion, or $2.25 a share, a year earlier.
The latest results included a $1.22 billion gain from the spin-off of NII Holdings Inc., a wireless service in Latin America and the Philippines. NII filed for bankruptcy in May.
Revenue climbed 24 percent to $2.33 billion from $1.88 billion.
Nextel, which is headquartered in Reston, Va., recorded equity losses of $1.61 billion, or $2.01 a share, from NII in the 2001 quarter.
Excluding the impact of NII Holdings and other items from both periods, Nextel said it earned $209 million, or 21 cents a share, compared with a loss of $188 million, or 24 cents a share, a year earlier.
The latest results easily beat the Thomson First Call estimate of fourth-quarter earnings, excluding items, of 11 cents per share.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization _ a key measure in the wireless industry _ jumped 64 percent to $886 million, from $539 million a year earlier.
The company said it added more than 500,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter, bringing its total subscribers to 10.61 million. The company added 1.96 million subscribers for the year, essentially matching its goal of adding 2 million subscribers in 2002.
For all of 2002, Nextel earned its first annual profit, with net income of $1.39 billion, or $1.78 a share, compared with a net loss of $2.63 billion, or $3.67 a share, in 2001.
Revenue rose 24 percent to $8.72 billion from $7.01 billion.
In morning trading, shares of Nextel rose 36 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $13.84, on the Nasdaq Stock Market.